Advanced Essay #3: Regret and miscellaneous emotions.

The things that make people who they are can be very complicated, being built from many experiences and events. People like to say things about how the past is just the past and it doesn't affect them now, or about how they do not have any regrets. Regrets are a necessary part of becoming a better person. The regrets and events of our life are what make us, us. We wouldn't be the same person if we lived in a vacuum with no outside forces acting upon it. We are based on events and those events define who we are. How we react to trauma, how we choose to stand once we fall make us who we are, and the idea that events in your life don't affect who you are as a person is incredibly naive. Think about how childhood traumas still affect people well into adulthood. The idea of having no regrets is the ideal, but God only knows I have regrets. I would be a completely different person if I went to a different high school or elementary school. Even the little things shape who I am as a person like whether or not I am friends with someone.

There are many moments I regret, believe me. One regretful memory that stands out is my first girlfriend all the way back in 5th grade. As with all 5th grade romances, it was the end all be all of human creation, we were destined for each other, clearly the universe served no other purpose than to put us together that fateful class. We were disgusting, braces filled, balls of pre-pubescence, and man was it vile looking back. In the moment it was pretty good, but the standards weren’t that high. I took this girl out on our first date and we went to dinner, then a movie, a classic, nothing could go wrong. I was wrong about that. We first went to dinner with a parental escort, which was as painfully awkward as it sounds. After our meal had arrived, I devoured it with extreme incompetence. How do you improperly eat one may ask? I am not exactly sure myself, but I am certain that I was missing the prime objective of landing food in my mouth. I then proceeded into the bathroom and spent way too much time in there defiling it. We then went to the movie, we watched some romantic comedy with Channing Tatum. Several times during the movie I tried to slide my hand over her shoulder with the classic yawn technique, and boy that didn’t work. We eventually took a very awkward car ride home, I spent the whole time wallowing in my failure and awkwardness. Getting out of the car and entering my house was such sweet relief. I thought I was gonna regret that day for the rest of my life because of how awkward I was. I did end up regretting that evening in many ways after, but not because of how I acted, but because who I was with. The girl I was with turned out to be crazy, and not in the way that's manageable or funny. She thought that the Earth was 6000 years old, that Alaska was a Country,  and that evolution wasn’t real. Regret never works out the way you think it will.

Last year in World History we learned a lot about various religions and faiths, we read texts from beliefs. This quote stood out to me, even looking back a year later. “And all the voices, all the goals, all the yearnings, all the sorrows, all the pleasures, all the good and evil, all of them together was the world. All of them together was the stream of events, the music of life.” -Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha  The author is very good at describing how the bad and good make up people, and how regrets and bad emotions are necessary. We feel all these emotions and they make us who we are. Regret is an important part of our lives. This quote opts for a ying and yang style where you need both light and dark, good and bad. We need both to not only survive, but to thrive. In most high schools it is becoming a running joke how much you regret who you were in middle school, or even as a freshman. We acknowledge our regret in a healthy comedic way. We understand regret is important in this way, we know things were bad and that things are getting better.

Should Our Identities Be The Same or Different?

In this essay, I discuss what I think it means to belong and what I think it means to explore ones identity. I focus on what makes us different and the same when forming our identities. I use my past experience in a new environment with not much diversity to discuss the common themes that build bonds and friendships, as well as what is used to build a sense of belonging.

If we look through the evolution of movies that take place in the high school setting we always see a common thing, cliques. The students mentally divide ourselves into these groups from how we identify ourselves. However in the movie, there is always those few students who still feel they are alone even though they are surrounded by people “like” them. Many would argue that the problem with cliques is we separate based off of one or two common interest that can be instantly be seen and shown. What then becomes an issue later is that they feel like they aren’t like them, and most likely they are right. Instead of finding similarities such as viewpoints and personality. That is not the proper way to make friends and create groups of people to interact with.

“Embracing otherness… Well, embracing otherness is embracing myself. And the journey to that place of understanding and acceptance has been an interesting one for me, and it's given me an insight into the whole notion of self.” These are words of Thandie Newton’s when she did a TED Talk called “Embracing Other, Embracing Myself”. I believe this quote relates a lot to during my summer of 2015. I went to Virginia for a writing program and lived on Sweet Briar campus for 2 weeks. I was eager to be in a new place to help me form my identity, I hoped to do so by exploring different environments with different people in diverse groups.

The first 5 days out of the 15, I just observed everyone in silence. I noticed patterns, personalities, just different and new people in general. From my observations, I noticed a connection. They were all divided in non diverse groups. No one was really trying to separate. At first everyone stayed with their Houses when we had free time or during lunch. In those Houses, there were at least 1 person in each class but the diversity of that was by chance. By the 8th day I started seeing groups of white people sitting next to each other, Asians sitting next to each other, and the other 4 African Americans in the program scattered against that. These cliques were a cliché to me. Somehow by day 7, I made friends with a girl named McKenna. I like the diversity of the friendship because she was in Poetry and I was in Screen & Playwriting, her being white and me being African American, and just how different our personalities are. She would hang out with the people in her House. In her house, there were all Songwriters and Poetry students. They were mainly white and there was one Asian. I instantly judged them, thinking that they were only friends because of their common class the Songwriters, their House, and their race but after a few more days I began to see that they were connected by similarities that were not instantly seen. The main people I talked to in that group besides McKenna was Savanah, Songwriter and white, and Miranda, Poetry student and Asian. They all played sports and all of their personalities were similar but had outlier differences keeping them different people. I remember during the last day of the program when I was saying my last goodbyes to my new friends, I began to think about all the different things about them and how we were really good friends making the 2 weeks feel like years.

There are times where I could be surrounded by many people but feel as if I’m alone. Isolation is the main feeling I am have when I step out my house. Everyone has this sense where they do not belong because we identify ourselves as someone different from others.

People should always be ready to identify themselves by what makes them different and not what makes them the same. The similarities between friends should be a coincidence and a group of friends should be diverse. If you randomly ask a group of friends what is their identity, each person should have a different answer. I don't think that friends that are all too similar are not good ones, but I think that those who are very different bond the best. If we always go by the similarities of one another, me become clones and dont explore our own separate and different identities but instead mold ourselves to be the same as everyone else to allow us to belong.

Feminist Film Review

Movie: Spirited Away 

This movie passes the Mako Mori test a little more than the Bechdel test because there is at least one female character. One of them that is focused on the most is the main character Chihiro. She is given a background story and the movie revolves around her trying to get her and her parents home since they are all trap in the spirit world by a cruel business owner who is a witch named Yubaba. It really does not support any man's story. There are also other female characters in this movie that I think, in my opinion, help this movie to pass the Bechdel test as well because there are points where the main character, Chihiro, interacts with other female characters, like Lin for example who also happens to work for Yubaba as well, and Yubaba. She has conversation with them that are not man at all about a man, like when she was talking about getting her parents freedom with Yobaba, and about getting a job with Lin. 

Bias Film test: For my test, I will call it the Heroine test, a movie has to have at least one female lead. She has to be able to work independently or with only a little bit of support, and her purpose in the movie is not for a man